Saturday, November 12, 2011

Baby Lars and such

What a ride that last week has been! It all started a few weeks ago when my blood pressure began to creep up.  Because of my experience with Anders we began to monitor it and it got up to worrisome levels. I was checked into the hospital a couple of times both on weekends just for monitoring and the second time my doctor had me stay overnight just to rest and try to get it down. I began taking a blood pressure medication and it sort of helped but then it started going back up again.
So last Saturday while I was getting ready for the day I had a  moment where I saw stars. My blood pressure was 165 over 100. I called my Doc and we agreed that it was time to have this baby! She told me to get child care lined up for Anders and come into the hospital that afternoon for a C-section. I originally had expressed my desire to have a normal birth with no surgery and she was very supportive of that. But in the end it was becoming dangerous to keep carrying the baby with those BP levels.
I called my parents and they started the hour drive to our hospital and I packed whatever was left over to pack and off we headed! Anders was super excited about meeting his little brother AND about having a sleepover at Grandma and Grandpa's house. There was lots of fun things to look forward to.
Once we got to the hospital the wheels started turning fast and the surgery was scheduled for 6:00. It was a surreal feeling knowing that this was the baby's Birthday and that I was facing another C-section. I was feeling pretty shivery inside.
My parents came and visited for a little while and then took Anders with them. Then we just sat around waiting.

One of the fun things about the day was that November 5th is a holiday in England called "Guy Fawkes Day". It's one that we Americans really know nothing about but I had heard about it a day or two before and then a friend from Scotland made mention of it on Facebook that morning. When we got to the hospital my nurse was English and I mentioned it to her and she was so surprised that I would even know about the holiday. I'm sure that our little guy will know about "Guy Fawkes Day" too. =0)

I gave birth to David Lars Jensen at 6:47 pm on Saturday November 5. I got to watch most of the surgery in the reflection in the light over my head. I made up my mind while I watched that I'm pretty much done with this whole 'birthing' thing. It was fun to see the doctor hold Lars up over the sheet to say hello. He was screaming and healthy even at 5 pounds 15 ounces. Chris and I both happily noticed that he had reddish hair since we were hoping for another red head.
Our doctor is an amazing women who is doing what God put her on earth for. She was so supportive and kind and she did a fantastic job with the c-section. She also brought a camera for Chris to take video and pictures just in case he forgot his. Sure enough his iPhone was in his pocket underneath his scrubs so we needed to use hers. He got some great footage of Lars being born and he loves showing it to anyone who wants to see.  Just ask him and he'll whip out his phone to show you!

I stayed in the hospital until Wednesday afternoon. Thursday was his first doctors appointment and when the pediatrician got the labs back that afternoon he called the house to say that we needed to admit Lars into the NICU to get treated for Jaundice. Unfortunately we were gone all afternoon and didn't get the worried messages until 7 in the evening when we got home. What a yucky surprise! Our neighbor Eva came over and got Anders to spend the night with them and off we headed to the hospital. I was already exhausted and had over done it that day so I was in tears at the thought of having to leave our little guy in the hospital.  It was a long night and since then it's been a bit crazy. Lars is doing great. His jaundice is gone and he's eating and pooping like a champ. I've been having to pump my milk to take to the hospital and trying to breast feed him when I am there. We're hoping to bring him home tomorrow.

One more little complication has been that even though I have had Lars my blood pressure hasn't gone down yet. So I've needed to get extra rest which is really hard to do. I've had a bit of a constant headache and my energy is not back to normal. I'm really struggling with discouragement and it's been emotionally taxing to not have our new baby at our side. Anders has been extra whiny and grumpy and he misses his new brother. We've all been little on edge to say the least. Yesterday my friend Rachel came and visited with her three kids. She took all the kids out to the new Chick-Fil-A for some fun playtime. She also tidied up our little house and folded a basket of laundry. Chris and I got to go and visit Lars and have some dinner out. What a blessing that was!

We're looking forward to tomorrow and the possibility of bringing our little guy home again. I'm also looking forward to feeling better and not being afraid that I'm going to have a stroke if I just do normal mom stuff. We have lots to look forward to from here on out.
Our sweet little Lars

Chris all ready for the birth!

Every mama needs a horribly unflattering "after the fact" photo. Lars looks pretty cute though. This picture was taken moments after I was rolled into recovery and I was so shaky and out of it!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Week Two, So Far So Good

We are well into our second week of school and Anders is still happy about it all. There is so much to do during the day and he is soaking up every bit of it. So far his favorites are P.E. (he loves his teacher Mr. D) and music class. Every day he comes home with stories about things he has learned and little interesting tid bits about class mates and friends. Today I told Mr. D how much Anders loves P.E. and he laughed and said that Anders has a great attitude and gets really involved in all the activities. Anders always makes sure to run up and give high fives to various guy teachers when he sees them.
I have seen some major improvement in his behavior and in his interest in learning as well as his attention span. I am really impressed so far!

This Friday is Grandparents day and my parents are going to make the trek out to have breakfast at the school and then visit his classroom. It should be fun to let them get a little glimpse of his school day and for him to show off his Grandparents. =)

Sunday, September 11, 2011

10 years ago

10 years ago today I woke up to my alarm clock radio announcing that a plane had crashed into the twin towers. I never set my alarm to radio. It was normally set to beeping and I was surprised to hear the talking when I woke up. Then I ran out to turn on the t.v. and my roommates came and joined me as we watched the horrible moments unfold.
It was a surreal day. I went to work at the salon in Whittier and the roads were so empty. People were walking by looking dazed. I went outside and a man in a wheel chair stopped and we talked about what had happened. Everyone was bonded on that day by this horrible event. I remember that I wanted to be at work to connect with other people but it was such a strange and somber day. Everything changed that day. Our country was changed. Our feelings of safety were gone and we realized that we could be harmed.
We were blessed to see the good in humanity as they rushed to help, search and comfort. The best and the worst was shown on that day.
I along with everyone else that experienced that day won't forget.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

First Day of Kindergarten

We're riding high on the first of school energy! We deposited our little Kindergartener to school at 8:45 this morning. School usually starts at 9 but today they had a special assembly and they had a fun surprise for the kids. Tommy the Clown! They gathered everyone around and in came a big truck blasting rap/dance music and out jumped three wild looking hip hop clowns! Anders didn't want anything to do with the clowns and decided to sulk far away from the festivities. After we ignored him for a bit he calmed down and sort of got interested in the "dance off" that was going on. That was after he declared that he "hated school!". =0/
I explained that school wasn't normally like this and that it was just a special show to celebrate the first day. At 9:45 everyone lined up to go to class and he was much happier about that. Apparently he is a kid who likes to know what's expected of him.
I came back to the school around 3:30 to turn in some paper work and spy on the goings on. They were doing P.E. out in the 102 degree weather and Anders was having a blast! Running laps, kicking soccer balls and mastering the hoola hoops.

When I finally got to pick him up at 4:00 he was happy and sweaty and said that he LOVED school! He did make mention that he had some trouble during lunch when he called an older girl "noodle head" and that his teacher was kind of strict with him. He did follow that up with saying that she was the best teacher ever. 
We stopped for an ice cream cone on the way home and now he is sitting on the couch playing on the iPhone. 
So excited to be at school with his friend Giovanni. 

First few minutes of school learning about what to expect in Kindergarten.

All ready to leave in the morning!

Resting after school with 'green bear' on his shoulder watching him play angry birds.

All lined up and ready for the day to start.

Anxious parents hovering around the wee kindergarteners...
I think that he'll have some adjusting to the everyday schedule but overall I have a feeling that it's going to be a good year.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

The last of Summer

Yesterday we decided to beat the heat and head down to the Malibu Pier for some cooler temps and a little water play. Anders ended up going in the ocean and playing with some new friends for about two hours. It was a great last summer hurrah.

This morning our neighbors daughter Riley came over and played with Anders. Usually Anders plays with her older brother Mason but he is in school now. Riley and Anders got along really well and played all morning long. So much fun!

When Mason got home from school Anders got to show him his new robot that he got last night at the Robot store in downtown Glendale. It is quite the hit! Anders even wants it to sleep on the chair next to his bed. =0)

Next Wednesday Kindergarten starts and I'm really looking forward to the new schedule!  Not too excited about all the driving but I can't wait to have the days more open for nesting and getting ready for baby #2. On Sunday we attend a BBQ put on by the school and Anders got to visit with his teacher Mrs. Dexter. She is really sweet and engaging and Anders is really going to like being in her class.
Next time I write it will be to report on the first day! 

Monday, August 22, 2011

A little fill in...

I haven't posted lately because 1. I've lost the little card that goes in my camera so I can't take real pictures and 2. We've been busy!
We just got home last night from a mostly fun and somewhat relaxing trip out to La Quinta near Palm springs and on our trip I kept thinking 'oh how I wish we had our camera right now!' Anders learned how to really swim around the pool as long as there was someone to catch him or he had a wall or stair to swim to. He swam underwater, touched the bottom with his hand and dove down all by himself. I was so proud!! Luckily I was able to get a little video on Chris iPhone which I'll post here or on Facebook

On the other hand he was a terror all day Friday due to the fact that all he had to eat for breakfast (and lunch) was McDonalds pancakes with that horrible syrup. In the early evening we finally went for a real meal at an amazing Thai place and he kept rolling around, making weird noises, complaining and basically driving us crazy! Luckily we were the only people in the restaurant for most of the meal so it was a little less awkward when I grabbed him by the arm and marched him to the bathroom for a little"conversation". After that lovely dinner we hit up a local Trader Joe's and the next morning we had a healthy breakfast of scrambled eggs, apple chicken sausage and fruit. It's all about real food and plenty of protein for our 5 year old!

The day before we had an incident in a local Panera where I accidentally bumped him on the head with my elbow and he got so mad that he went around behind me and BIT ME ON THE BOTTOM! I was trying to order and I screamed and then promptly turned around and spanked him in front of probably 15 people who were in line behind us. Ugggg. I was just waiting to get reported or something horrible like that. So needless to say we are in a correcting phase of parenting right now and so that did kind of color our vacation and make it just a little bit more stressful than I like vacations to be.

On the pregnancy front I'm feeling pretty good and am now 26 weeks along. This baby moves around a lot more than Anders did and it's been fun to feel him tap dance on my bladder. I'm starting to get a little swelling in my feet and hands but it seems to be way less dramatic than last time and I'm hopeful that I won't have pre-eclampsia this time around. My doctor is amazing and so thorough and says that this pregnancy looks extremely healthy.  I'm scheduled for another ultrasound in a couple of weeks and it should be fun to see the little guy again. Anders has thought of a few names including, fuffy, rubber band and  little so 'n so. We're leaning towards more traditional names but haven't decided on any yet.

Anders starts school on the 7th of September and I'm feeling apprehensive about the long school day but excited about this new phase in life. Before the baby comes I'm going to have a lot of time to nest and fuss around with the house while he's at school.  I'm trying to find places for all of the fun hand-me-down baby stuff that we are starting to accumulate and I'm stressing a little about trying to fit it into our little space!

I can't wait to find my camera card so I can post some pictures! Hopefully we'll have that solved before the first day of Kindergarten and if we don't you'll know that I'll be kicking myself!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Life Lessons

Don't leave your favorite rain boots outside or else they MIGHT become the home of a bunch of black widow spiders..... 

This week Anders learned this lesson and as a mama I'm happy to say that no one put their unsuspecting bare tootsies into said boots before we found the spiders. I have been officially creeped out by this and am so thankful no one got bitten! To try and remedy this problem I filled the boots with water to try and flush the spiders out. I think most are out but I'm assuming there are still eggs. These boots are going to the trash bin.

Saturday fun day

This past Saturday we took advantage of the lovely weather in Ventura and spent the day at the harbor. Back home in the San Fernando Valley it was a scorcher so you can imagine how much we enjoyed getting out of that! We rented one of those electric boats and zipped around the harbor trying to avoid the big boats. Our main goal was to NOT crash our boat and to try and keep Anders from falling overboard.

Bubble gum ice cream and daddy. Doesn't get any better than that!

A very cool custom made car parked in the parking lot. We had to get a  picture!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Beautiful 4th of July

Our friends son Gus has his Birthday on the 4th of July so for the last 3 years we have enjoyed celebrating with them in one way or another. This year we were invited over to their new house for a lunch celebration this year. They decided to stretch out the day and had picked up chicken and tri-tip steaks to grill in the evening for those who wanted to make a whole day out of it. What a day it was! There were so many kids and so many different ages that I hardly had to supervise Anders the whole time and all the parents were able to just relax and chat all day.
At one point in the afternoon I noticed that Anders was getting overwhelmed from all the activity and had snuck away to do something "lonely" (play quietly with toy soldiers). I told him that after cake and presents he was going to have a little nap time in one of the bedrooms. He came up to me shortly after cake and practically begged to have his quiet time! I took him in a bedroom and read him some books and had him lay down and try to close his eyes. I rested too! =0)
After that nice interlude we continued to party until late into the evening and Anders had fun the entire time. There were no meltdowns just pure fantastic fun. Here are some pictures of the day

One happy boy!

All the kids took turns beating up a Transformers Pinata.

The Birthday boy Gus turning 4 on the 4th!

Some of the kids admiring baby Mae, Gus's little baby sister.

Chris and I really enjoyed ourselves.

Little girls love babies!

Little boys love weapons! This was a marshmallow shooter that was a big hit with Anders.

This is where I found Anders during the height of the party chaos. He needed some "lonely" time he told Chris.

Kids world!

Chris chatting with our friend John Walquist.

The kids got glow sticks while we waited to see if we could catch any fireworks from the back yard.

Looking a little crazed....

We had a raucous dance party after fireworks and the kids (and adults) danced the night away.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Unexpected school plans

The past few weeks have been filled with many things. For some reason it's felt very full partly because we've been battling various illnesses such as stomach flu and now colds and of course my almost constant morning sickness and weird food aversions. Chris has been working very hard and recently received some nice accolades at work which were very welcome! He is really good at what he does and I'm always happy when he gets rewarded for it.

Another thing that has been taking up our lives is the decision of where to put Anders for Kindergarten. We originally were going to enroll him in the public school down the street. It would be convenient, free and close. all good things. His pre-school teacher has been pretty straight forward with us that she doesn't think that he is ready for Kindergarten and so the upside to our local school was that they had a transitional class to get kids more prepared for the rigors of Kindergarten. Apparently Kindergarten isn't what it used to be and much more is expected of kids academically nowadays.

We weren't so sure that we really wanted to hold him back a whole year but want him to excel in school and have the best possible experience.
While thinking through this process we remembered that there was a school down the street from our old apartment that seemed pretty interesting. I used to walk by there and the enjoyed talking to the security guard out in front. He had mentioned that we should come and have a tour some time.
Chris reminded me of this school and encouraged me to make an appointment for a tour. Even it it was out of our financial range (which we knew it would be) it would still be fun to see what it was like inside. One interesting thing about this school is that it was founded by Actor Will Smith and his wife Jada Pinkett Smith and originated from their homeschool group. Because of this it has a very homey small school vibe and seemed to be an interesting prospect.

I called up the school and found out that it was definitely out of reach financially but still "would I like to come take a tour?" Why not?
So off we went for the tour. Once there I got to see the class rooms and lovely outdoor eating area and hear all about the learning styles and class sizes. Generally between 4-10 kids per class. They serve a cold breakfast and a snack and the day starts at 9 and ends at 4.
The head of school encouraged us to continue with the application process and fill out financial aid info and just see what happens. It couldn't hurt could it?

Anders got to come and spend a whole day with the pre-K class to see how he fit in with that group. Of course he loved it and they loved him and it was a splendid day.

Along the way I have been specifically praying about a couple of things and those prayers were answered quickly. This helped me in my decision process as well.

To make a long story short we had a family meeting with the head of school, the school counselor and the Kindergarten teacher and it went really well. Everything went smoothly and we found out that it would be possible to send him there. After a week for me and Chris to discuss it we decided that it would be a great fit for Anders. He would be in level 2 which is the equivalent of Kindergarten but there would be more space for him to grow up and master the skills that he needs without specifically holding him back a whole year.
The long day will enable me to spend some quality time with the new baby knowing that Anders is having a fun and enriching experience. I'm sure that the schedule will take some getting used to but we'll take it one day at a time.

We are pretty excited about this opportunity and are looking forward to what next year has to bring!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Fun weekend and Canadian Shannon visits

What a fun and busy weekend we had! It started on Friday when Anders and I drove down to my Mom and Dads house. Chris came after work (late) to meet us there and spend the weekend together.  On Saturday I worked until around 2 and then met Chris and Anders at the local Chick-Fillet for lunch.  That evening my folks watched Anders so we could get a date night which we spent enjoying gourmet food and fun company with friends Simon and Kristy. Sunday we went to my parents church and then all went to Penn park in Whittier to continue the yearly Mother's Day tradition of Subway sandwiches and family time. My friend Shannon came into town for a conference and came down to spend a couple of nights with us. I haven't seen her in over 7 years! She and I went to Bible school together in Sask.  Canada.
Monday I took Shannon to Leo Carillo State beach and Malibu and we enjoyed lounging around despite the cold wind.  Anders had fun looking for rocks and kicking sand on us. 
On Tuesday I drove her back to deep Orange County to the airport and then stopped at an ultrasound place that a friend had told me about. It was fun to get to see our little stranger kicking around with little arms and legs stretching all over the place. I've been so busy that it was special to take some time and connect with this little one. 
Yesterday was Anders half day pre-school and today he spend all day (9-4) at a possible school possibility. I'll write about that one later. 
So needless to say I'm all tuckered out. I'm keeping Anders home from school tomorrow to catch up on rest and play and hopefully I'll be able to put my feet up too! 

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Puppy love, crazy outfit and Summer prep

Anders loves our neighbor dog Charlie and is generally very sweet with him. Charlie is very patient especially if Anders is eating lunch....

This picture cracks me up! The other day Anders found some overly small winter pants, neighbor friend Kate's Red sparkly had and a sweet looking basket and was all decked out to ride the purple flower bike around the yard. I HAD TO GET A PICTURE! Of course I told him how cool he looked but as you can tell by the look on his face he's a little miffed that I wanted a picture. =0)

It's been HOT this last week and we took the 30 minute trek to a fun splashy fountain area in Thousand Oaks. I'm hoping to work on getting some color even before Summer truly arrives.